History of Bud Clary
Birth: Bud Clary and Bud Westby purchased the Chevrolet dealership from Ralph Masterson in 1959, located on what was known as “Auto Row” on Vandercook Way. A year later, Clary bought out Westby and operated the dealership until 1967 when a new facility was constructed on Commerce Avenue in Longview, Washington.
Growth: In 1979, Bud Clary retired and his son, Jim Clary, took over as owner-operator. The Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Subaru, AMC, and Jeep dealership was purchased from Ivan Thornley in October of 1985.
In 1987, a large lot was purchased for employee parking but was soon converted to the new and used car department’s “bullpen” and indoor basketball court. Basketball is still very important to the Clary’s and you’ll often find them shooting hoops locally or attending sporting events throughout Washington. Also that year, the Stephens Datsun facility, located across the street from Bud Clary Chevrolet, was purchased and later became the home of the Subaru and Jeep sales department. Their service and parts departments were combined with the existing service and parts department at 1030 Commerce Avenue.
In 1995, the 12,000-square-foot building at the north end of Commerce Avenue was purchased and renovated into a new state-of-the-art body shop. The new facility, which includes three downdraft paint booths, indicates the dealership's total commitment to body and paint repair in Longview.
Driving down Commerce Avenue in Longview, Washington, you’re sure to see our Chevrolet and Subaru dealerships, along with our combined Service and Parts Departments, Paint & Body Shop, and Fleet Department.
Expansion: The Bud Clary Auto Group expanded from its base to purchase Toyota of Yakima in 2001. In 2009, it acquired Toyota of Moses Lake and Chevrolet of Moses Lake. In 2011, it acquired Moses Lake Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram. In 2012, the auto group added Ford and Honda dealerships simultaneously in Moses Lake. Then in late 2015, two more stores were purchased from Tom Matson and added to the family: a Hyundai dealership and an additional Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership, both located in Auburn. In September of 2018, the auto group added Westlie Ford in Washougal, WA to the group adding another family-owned dealership that has strong ties to the local Camas & Washougal community. Then, in March 2021, Bud Clary Auto purchased the Columbia Auto Group from the Sari family. The Sari family, and the dealership staff alike, added tremendous value to our greater Cowlitz County community for over 50 years and as part of the Bud Clary Auto Group, they will continue to do so under the Bud Clary names, Bud Clary Ford and Bud Clary Hyundai.
Keeping it in the family: Fast-forward to 2016 and Jim Clary signed on the dotted line handing his many dealerships down to his two sons, Kelly and Bryce Clary. The Bud Clary Auto Group truly is a family-run business and loves serving its surrounding communities. Jim still likes to pop in and make sure everyone is on their toes and we appreciate his admiration for continuing to play a role.
Thank you: Through the years, growth in the dealerships has increased the number of employees from 15 to over 400 and is still growing! The growth and expansion of this corporation have been due to the fine quality of employees throughout the years, as well as our loyal customers. Because of this stability, we are sure to have steady growth in the future and maintain dominance in the automobile industry in the Longview, Kelso, Yakima, Moses Lake, and Auburn areas and beyond.